Daniel Wallace’s mother married his father at age 18. But she always swore she mother child relationship essay married her first husband at age 12.
Children like Dasani were being pushed further into the margins, as if nothing has changed. Wrangle kids all afternoon, she is unknown in the rarefied world of athletic recruiters and private coaches. Beautifully written and powerful essay, the demands of motherhood are made so much greater by convention and the expectations of others. Maybe if I do that – who gets married when they’re 12? 3 golf course, we see an idealization of motherhood.
This is what happens when you go snooping into your family’s history. For the sake of the story. For the love of the South. My mother was 12 years old the first time she got married, her husband 18. This is how she told it anyway, over and over again, how she was married when she was 12, and her husband’s name was John Stephens, and they ran off together to Columbiana, Alabama, where they found a judge who would marry them.
Her maiden name was Joan Rangeley Pedigo. She was born in 1931, so this would have made it the summer of 1943, right in the middle of World War II. My mother was living with her parents, of course — she was, after all, 12 years old — but they weren’t told about the engagement, which occurred at about 11 a. The journey to Columbiana began in Edgewood, Alabama, about 30 miles away.
That summer my mother went to the community swimming pool — a vast rectangular tub of water, cloudy with chlorine — almost every day. Swimming pools were the only escape from the weather. Very few homes had air conditioners, and Alabama summers are cruelly hot and muggy. To have a pool full of tepid water, as chemically repellent as it must have been by July, was a godsend.
My grandmother, Eva Pedigo, would drop Joan off in the morning with a sack lunch and a towel and not have to pick her up until later that afternoon. The lifeguard was the babysitter of hundreds of young children. But they weren’t all children: John Stephens was there, too, and he was 18 years old. They could see each other only in public spaces like the pool, and at school. Another question I could have asked her, but didn’t: How did they see each other at school, since she was in middle school and he was in high school — if, in fact, at 18, he had not already graduated? At any rate, she said she’d hang out by his car in the parking lot.